I decided to apply to business school over two years ago. For a long time it was just a talking point, something to insert into casual conversation. When I made my final decision to attend McCombs in May, I thought that was a sizable reality check. I signed my name, paid my dues, and committed myself to moving to a new city and jump starting a new career, but it still felt surreal. Even my first three weeks in Austin carried a strong undertone of “is this really happening?” In fact, the concept of going “back to school” did not hit me until this week- the first week of classes. As of August 17th, I am a full time student. I ride the bus to school, I pack my lunch, and I hang out on campus from 8am to 5pm on a daily basis. If orientation felt like summer camp, this week feels a bit like kindergarten. Despite having been a student for 18 years of my life this experience is truly unique.
When I was preparing to come to business school someone told me I would find myself doing things that I never imagined. So far I find this to be 100% accurate. In the last three weeks I’ve found myself engaging in activities that have both amused and challenged me. I entered my first fantasy football draft (and consequently learned the rules of fantasy football), played dizzy bat and engaged in a wheelbarrow race as part of the cohort games, went wine tasting in Fredricksburg (a big deal for a California wine snob), furnished my apartment by visiting every thrift store in the greater Austin area, went to a AAA baseball game, visited the oldest dance hall in Texas, and ate dinner at one of the most historic sites in Austin, the Driskill Hotel.
The Driskill Hotel embodies Texas. From the cow hide covered bar stools, to the gun shaped lanterns, this place bleeds Texas pride. Although the event was business professional, I still felt like I needed a giant belt buckle to truly fit in.
Our class descended on the Driskill for an Etiquette dinner, a meal in which we were to learn how to behave like ladies and gentlemen in every business interaction including dining experiences. I expected it to be a lesson in which fork to use, but it turned out to be much more. We discussed proper passing protocol, ordering techniques, payment procedure, meat carving, handshakes and kisses, along with the age old question of “what do you do if you have a piece of gristle in your mouth?” (Remove it with your thumb and forefinger apparently). It was a fantastic evening filled with delicious food, helpful tips, and a good deal of laughter.
Want more information about proper dining etiquette, or the transition to grad school? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.